Victory for White Street Landfill Opponents

Greensboro City Council won’t be making any further efforts to expand the White Street Landfill. Not until the trial has ended, at least.
In a court order from Judge Richard W. Stone released on June 16, Plaintiffs were granted preliminary injunction, originally filed by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. This prohibits the City Council “from adopting any solid waste management plan that selects or approves a ‘new sanitary landfill’ site…in the White Street Landfill…until the Court has entered a final judgment in this case.”
“The statute was there, all the Greensboro City Council had to do was look at the statute,” said Goldie Wells, a leader with the Citizens for Environmental and Economic Justice. “I’m happy our voices are finally being heard.”
The City Council had planned to sign a 15 to 30-year contract with Gate City Waste Services or Waste Industries by June 21, 2011. This plan is barred by Judge Stone’s order. A 15- to 30-year contract would have required the construction of two new phases (Phases IV and V) of the White Street Landfill. These expansions obligate the City Council to consider other sites, hold a public hearing and consider socioeconomic and demographic data under North Carolina General Statute 160A-325. Prior to this order, the Greensboro City Council had not yet fulfilled these obligations despite repeated community requests.
In addition to failing to fulfill its legal obligations to its constituents, the Greensboro City Council’s efforts to re-open and expand the landfill would come with other serious costs, including lost business and property tax revenue as well as environmental and health consequences.